On Friday the Phillies came limping into Citizen Bank Park. Losers of their last 4, 3 games under .500, and starring at a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Phillies have had a recent dreadful time against the Cubs. Entering Friday, the Phillies are 0 for their last 6 against the Cubs dating back to last season. With the season entering the “not early anymore” phase the time is now for some Phillies consistency.
Suarez was given the ball. It was his 2nd start after returning from injury. Suarez pitched as expected his last time out. Opposed by Marcus Stroman. Stroman entered the game with a 2-4 record. Things in this one started in the first. Nicky Bats, who continues to be the most consistent hitter drove in Bryson Stott with a sacrifice fly to give them an early 1-0 lead. It would turn out to be the Phillies’ offensive highlight of the night.
The rest of the night was another exercise in offensive, defensive, and pitching incompetence. The Cubs would pound out 11 hits en route to 10 runs. The Phillies would only manage 3 hits on the night and 1 run. Suarez’s night was a nightmare. He would just last 2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 4 runs all earned, walk 3, and strikeout 4.
For the Cubs Stroman kept the Phillies guessing and missed all night. Line on the night was 6 innings pitched, 1 run, 3 hits, 4 strikeouts, and 2 walks. The Cub’s bullpen would not allow any Phillies hits from the 6th inning on. The Phillies’ bullpen was equally dreadful. They would surrender 6 runs and 7 hits. Cody Clemens would make an appearance for the Phillies. This would mark the 5th time the Phillies have used a position player to pitch in 2023. Remarkable through 44 games.
The Cubs offensively were led by Nico Hoerner who went 3 for 6, with 4 RBIs. For the Phillies Trea Turner continued his struggles he took an 0-4 with a strikeout. Turner has not looked good at all since joining the Phillies this winter. Stroman would get the win his 3rd. The Phillies have now lost 5 in a row and have fallen 4 games under .500. Final 10-1 Cubs. The Phillies have now lost 7 straight to the Cubs.
Aaron Nola was given the task to snap the Phillies’ 5-game losing streak he is opposed by Jamison Taillon. The Phillies in desperate need of something to right the ship. The offense got a huge boost from Kyle Swarber whose grand slam (11) in the 1st inning got the Phillies off and running 4-0. Followed three batters later by Kody Clemens’s two-run shot (4) and the Phillies have a 6-0 lead heading into the second inning.
Aaron Nola with arguably his best start of the season was laser focused. Nola on the day went 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 10 strikeouts he would get the win now 4-3 on the season. Lost in his domination was a much-needed day off for the bullpen. Brogdon and Marte would pitch in mop-up duty. In all the Phillies would bang out 13 hits, and 12 runs en route to a 12-3 blowout of the Cubs. This would snap their 7-game losing streak to the Cubs, and the Phillies losing streak.
Jamison Taillon would only last 2 and 1/3 innings, surrendering 6 hits, 8 runs, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout. Highlighted of course by Swarber’s grand slam. 4 Phillies in total would bang multiple hits in this one as finally, the Phillies played like the Champions they are supposed to be. Tomorrow they will go for the series win.
On Sunday for the finale the Phillies turned to Taiwan Walker on 3 days of rest to win the series: Walker, an offseason addition who to this point has not been what was expected. And as the Phillies continued to sort out that 5th starter issue, they were desperate for the win. The Cubs would counter with Justin Steele who entered the game with a 2.20 ERA.
What would develop was one of those old-fashioned pitching duels. Walker surprisingly was locked in as he would go 5 1/3, 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Steele would last 6 innings for the Cubs. Allowing 4 hits, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts, and 1 walk. This would come down to the late innings and the bullpens. Both areas went to the Phillies.
The Phillies’ bullpen was on point. 1 run, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts, 3 walked, through the rest of the game. The Cubs bullpen 2 runs, 3 hits, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk. As for the offense, Bryson Stott would provide all the offense the Phillies would need. Appearing in the 7th inning as a pinch hitter, he would launch a two-run home run over the right field fence. Proving to be the game-winning runs.
Craig Kimbrel would be given the ball in the 9th and after allowing a solo home run to Christopher Morel to cut the Phillies lead 2-1. Kimbrell would settle down and earn his 5th save of the season and his 399th save of his career.
This week things begin to get real for the Phillies. They will welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks 27-20 for a three-game set before setting out on the road for 4 in Atlanta and three in New York against the Mets.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.